12, Jul, 21

MTG Rules Committee Bans Obnoxious Commander Card After Player Feedback

The Merfolk Pirate is now banned in the popular singleton format.
Article at a Glance

It’s one of the most powerful cards to come into Commander and has become the point of conversation since its printing in Commander Legends.

Hullbreacher promotes miserable gameplay for those who attempt to play against it. As announced by the Commander Rules Committee today, Hullbreacher is now banned in the Commander format.

Read More: The Best Forgotten Realms MTG Commander Cards

Hullbreacher Banned in Commander

It may not be a surprise to see the Merfolk Pirate banned in Commander. It’s easily splashable and doesn’t offer any demands with the mana value. Even at three mana, it’s an aggressively under-costed effect for a card that is so game-warping. The Rules Committee thought enough was enough and banned the card in an announcement earlier today.

Hullbreacher is BANNED.

Hullbreacher has been a problem card since its release. Its ostensible defensive use against extra card draw has been dwarfed by offensively combining it with mass-draw effects to easily strip players hands while accelerating the controller. That play pattern isn’t something we want prevalent in casual play (see the Leovold ban), and we have seen a lot of evidence that it is too tempting even there, as it combines with wheels and other popular casual staples. The case against the card was overwhelming.

There remain a few similar cards that are still permitted, notably Notion Thief and Narset, Parter of Veils. The additional hoops required (an additional color pip for Notion Thief, and sorcery speed for Narset) appear to be keeping them to the appropriate level of play, though we’ll continue to keep an eye on them.

Source: The Commander Rules Committee

It also raises the question about Windfall, a card that you often use alongside Hullbreacher. Before, you’d see Windfall alongside Leovold, Emissary of Trest and Hullbreacher, which are now both removed from the Commander format. By combining these two cards, you can make your Commander pod discard their hand and unable to draw any cards. This plan is more than enough for someone to win a game, and cause frustration in players around them.

Maybe there will be a time where Windfall follows suit instead of the cards that combine alongside it. Normally you see bans for cards that enable poor play experiences, an example being Faithless Looting in Modern. Either way, banning Hullbreacher is the right call to ensure the health of the format.

It’s not often we see bans in Commander but when we do, they’re welcomed with open arms. Players can take comfort sitting in a Commander pod without an obnoxious card to stifle their play experience.

Read More: Ranking The Forgotten Realms MTG Commanders

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